Sunday Sept. 9th, 2007
Fort William, Scotland
Sam Hill’s dominance continues as he wins the downhill at the World Championships in Ft. William, Scotland. Giving him a scare was Fabien Barel, just barely down at the split; Barel gave it all and came in just .64 behind Hill. Great Britain fans cheered madly for Gee
Atherton who earned the bronze medal. Santa Cruz Syndicate riders Steve Peat and Nathan Rennie both ran into problems on the course. Peat says, “About 100 yards into the course I went over the wood bridge transitioning to the dirt and the bike slipped and
both my feet came off and I landed heavy on the seat and it broke off. When I rode the chair lift up the wind blew my bike badly and it was barely hanging on by the seat. I think that might have weakened the seat. The weather conditions up there were so gnarly. The wind was blowing hard. I’m really gutted.”
Rennie had a fine run going and then entering the first woods section he said, “I was going through the right, left corners and got on the pedals to put some power down and it slipped and I went straight over the bars. I was stunned at first as to what happened. I ran back up to get my bike and kept going. I just made one mistake after that. I’m really pissed about it. I had a really good run going and I was just 11 seconds back with the crash.”
Highlights of the week include the annual Boxxer World Championships where SRAM/RockShox mechanics race to rebuild a Boxxer fork. This year a new head to head format was followed and it made for some exciting entertainment. Rob Eva and Greg Herbold announced the event and kept the assembled crowd laughing. The race was started with a shot of whiskey, and ended with the finish of a guzzled beer turned upside down on their heads. It may sound all fun, but these competitors were deadly serious about the race and frustration was showing in their faces when things went wrong. Many of the matches were so close, and came down to the wire with the experienced beer guzzler’s deciding the match. In the end was a Great Britain match with Tim Flukes up against Gary Mullaney, with Gary prevailing.
Peaty’s foot had its ups and downs during the week any many people pitched in to help him get to the start house. Jim Webb spent a few hours each day doing physical therapy on Peat. Without his help surely his chances of racing would have been questionable. On
Friday Peaty said, “This morning my foot felt mint, but then I cased the jump at the finish and hurt my foot making it feel like two days ago.” Peaty’s friend, Nathan Rennie lent a hand and had Steve follow him on a run to help pull him along.
Race morning turned out a bit disappointing. Rennie fell off on a practice run and dislocated the shoulder that he hit a tree with a few months ago. He got it popped back in and was confident it would hold well for the final. Peat planted his sore foot into the
ground, but the taping was holding well.
In the Junior men’s race we all had high hopes for Santa Cruz rider, Josh Bryceland, Peaty’s up and coming protégé. Bryceland was having a stellar run until he suffered a rear puncture and rode in for 35th place.. Great Britain was going off the hook when
Rudaridh Cunningham took the win, and USA gets a silver medal earned by JD Swuangen.
Next week the Syndicate is off to Maribor for the Nissan UCI World Cup Finals, then Rennie will compete in the Red Bull Metro Ride in Budapest, Hungary.
MEN’S TOP TEN:
1) SAM HILL 4:52.01
2) FABIEN BAREL 4:52.65
3) GEE ATHERTON 4:56.38
4) GREG MINNAAR 4:59.38
5) PASQUAL CANALS FLIX 5:00.29
6) MATTI LEHIKOINEN 5:00.93
7) JULIEN CAMELLINI 5:01.11
8) FLORENT PAYET 5:01.51
9) SAM BLENKINSOP 5:01.77
10) DAN ATHERTON 5:01.99
12TH: NATHAN RENNIE 5:03.19
67TH: STEVE PEAT 5:39.56
Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors who make all this
Santa Cruz Bicycles
Troy Lee Designs
source: Kathy Sessler
Santa Cruz Syndicate
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